atomarray IBM researchers makes storage breakthrough

IBM's research division has made a monumental breakthrough in storage technology which could result in even smaller devices that can store larger amounts of information.

IBM's research division has made a monumental breakthrough in storage technology which could result in even smaller devices that can store larger amounts of information.

 
Previous magnetic storage technology requires around one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0. However, the team at IBM's Almaden Research Centre, found that they could arrange just two rows of six iron atoms on a surface of copper nitride and still store information on it.
 
This experiment relies on temperatures being 0 degrees, however, which will not be the case for most usage of storage equipment. However, the researchers believe that they can replicate the same results at room temperature with just 150 atoms. They also demonstrated how IBM's motto, “Think”, could be stored in a computer byte using just 96 atoms.
 
atomarray IBM researchers makes storage breakthrough
 
The findings are significant, as it means that storage devices could eventually store around 80,000 times more information in the same amount of space. Even if the amount of atoms required is 150, that will still be around 6,500 times smaller than existing technology.
 
The achievement could also affect other sectors, with the researchers claiming that the smaller groups of atoms have acted as both 1 and 0 simultaneously, a finding that will go a long way to supporting theories on quantum mechanics.
 
“Nanotechnology labs are going to begin asking, ‘What else is going on down there?’” said Richard Doherty, director of Envisioneering. “The information storage side of this is fantastic, but this truly changes our ideas of the behavior of materials at molecular levels.”
 
Image Credit: IBM